St. Anthony’s Community participates in Franciscan Legacy Day 2022
On a recent sunny day, members of the St. Anthony’s community answered Pope Francis’ call to “Care for our Common Home” by participating in Franciscan Legacy Day. This annual opportunity allows all the Franciscan Ministries on the West Coast to connect and explore a theme central to Franciscan identity.
Participants from churches, schools, retreat centers, and social service agencies kicked things off by connecting on Zoom to meet each other. We discussed Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical “Laudato Si” and what care for our common home means through a Franciscan lens. Laudato Si offers a critique of consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls for all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action”. As members of one human family, we are called to answer both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. The Integral Ecology approach called for by Francis requires us to recognize the interconnectedness of the ecological crisis and human crisis we are all facing.
After our kickoff meeting, the St. Anthony’s team walked to Father Alfred Boeddeker Park in the Tenderloin to assist with habitat restoration and park cleanup. The park is named after the founder of St. Anthony’s, who opened our Dining Room in 1950. This small but widely loved park acts as the only green space in a dense neighborhood with over 3,000 children. The park provides a safe space for people of all ages to gather, play basketball, table tennis, exercise, and enjoy a slice of nature and sunshine. St. Anthony’s staff and residents of the Father Alfred Center, our residential recovery program for men, worked to do a “deep sweep” for trash, trimmed trees and bushes, and pulled weeds. We focused on improving visibility and clearing handrails and walkways of overgrown vegetation.
One participant noted, “It’s easy to feel down in regards to Climate Change. Knowing there are so many people out there who are passionate about caring for our common home makes me feel more hopeful for the future of our communities and ecosystem.”
Events such as this offer a great opportunity to live our organizational values and reflect on what it means to be a Franciscan organization in the 21st Century. We are proud to answer Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home.